Entry requirements, skills and interests (PID)
This page provides useful information about the entry requirements needed for this specialty up to and including foundation training. It also includes information on the skills and interests you will need.
Before you train as a psychiatrist you must complete a degree in medicine and have obtained a MBBS or equivalent qualification. Find out more about getting into medical school.
You then need to complete a two-year foundation programme and then three years of core training. After successfully completing your first year of foundation training you become eligible for registration as a doctor with the General Medical Council (GMC). Foundation training includes undertaking rotations in a range of specialties including psychiatry.
To find information about the Foundation Programme, visit our applying for foundation training page.
Skills and interests
Intellectual disability psychiatrists need:
- empathy and compassion and the ability to treat others with understanding and respect
- respect for people with intellectual disabilities and the contribution they make to society
- excellent listening skills
- willingness to build relationships with their patients
- emotional resilience and a sense of humour
- excellent communication skills - to relate well to patients and their families/carers
- good problem-solving and decision-making skills
- the ability to work effectively as part of a multidisciplinary team
- leadership skills
If you're applying for a role either directly in the NHS or in an organisation that provides NHS services you'll be asked to show how you think the NHS values apply in your everyday work. The same will be true if you're applying for a university course funded by the NHS.